Tom Hooper Wins At DGA Awards, 'The King's Speech' One Step Closer To Oscar Glory

by Kevin Jagernauth
January 30, 2011 2:26 AM
9 Comments
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For Oscar fortune tellers who have been banging the drum that "The Social Network" was going to be the clear and obvious winner at this year's Oscars, the past week has been a bracing wake-up call. On Tuesday morning, "The King's Speech" walked away with the lion's share of nominations, notching twelve under its belt. And last night, the film earned another major push that makes it clear it will be the film to beat at the end of February.

Tom Hooper has won Best Director for a feature film, at the DGA Awards handed out yesterday, and if history repeats itself, he'll want to clear space on his mantle. All five of this year's director nominees have earned Oscar spots and last year, Kathryn Bigelow took home DGA honors and then went on to win Best Director and Best Picture ("The Hurt Locker") at the Oscars. So, while many have commended the Academy for some progressive choices over the years, this time around, it looks like a well-constructed, old-fashioned period picture with a big heart is wooing Oscar voters.

Only six times ever has the DGA winner and the Oscar Best Director not matched. In the last decade it happened twice; once in 2002 with "Chicago" and "The Pianist" (the musical won best picture, but Roman Polanski took the Best Director prize) and before that in 2000 when Steven Soderbergh won Best Director for "Traffic," but Ridley Scott's "Gladiator" took the Best Picture trophy. The odds are stacked against Fincher to pull an upset here, but if there's one director who can surely unseat Hooper this year, he's the only man with a shot.

Also taking home honors last night was Charles Ferguson, who won Best Director in the documentary category for "Inside Job." That film, also nominated for an Academy Award, looks headed for Oscar gold as well.

No word yet if Harvey Weinstein will follow through with plans to re-edit "The King's Speech" for a PG-13 rating (it currently has an R thanks to a handful of swearing) but as it continues to pick up steam, you can bet he will want as many people to see it as possible. [IndieWire]

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9 Comments

  • Xian | January 31, 2011 8:46 AMReply

    I really don't get this... "The King's Speech" was well acted (and, thus, directed), but aside from it being a charming piece of British cinema, it's hardly a Best Picture film that will have an impact on filmmaking beyond awards season. Tom Hooper doesn't rank with the other fellows he's been nominated with... but whatever, it's typical of the season.

    So, Chris Nolan got shutout for this?!? Ridiculous.

  • cirkusfolk | January 30, 2011 9:31 AMReply

    Now I remember why I stopped contributing to this blog...thank God I have a real job and this is just a hobby.

    And @ Adrian...You're a 20 year old male and The Social Network has ZERO to do with your life and generation? UH, so you or none of your friends have a Facebook account? But King George VI overcoming his speech impediment has impacted your life? 1/7th of the ENTIRE WORLD is on Facebook, and probably most of the rest of the world has still been impacted by it regardless how they feel about it. The sentence..."Find us on Facebook" is about as everpresent in today's culture than any other sentence. It's not like I'm even defending the film here, I just have a hard time believe your statement.

  • Edward Davis | January 30, 2011 9:14 AMReply

    "I'll have a little bettere guess after the SAG awards tonight,"
    Gee, really?


    "but a million bucks says Best Ensemble (which usually goes to the Oscar Best Picture winner...even Slumdog Millionaire won it) will go to The King's Speech."

    you think??

  • cirkusfolk | January 30, 2011 9:13 AMReply

    Uh, actually I never had The Social Network to sweep. Before the DGA, and actually before the Oscar noms for that matter, I predicted The Social Network to only win 4...Picture, Director, Script, Editing...and it's still gonna win Script. The Social Network was never poised for a sweep seeing as though it was not nomed for some of the tech awards that The King's Speech was. Now that I consider The King's Speech the frontrunner, thanks to the DGA (it and the Oscars almost always match), I think it's more likely now that The King's Speech will win most of tech awards just because it's The King's Speech and not because it is actually worthy of them. I had predicted Inception to win 6, including Score and Cinematography, and now I'll consider it lucky if it can even pull out Sound and Sound Editing. So it's not like I'm retracting anything I've said before. After The King's Speech got its 12 nominations, I always knew this was gonna go one of two ways...either it would be a rare split year, King's would get Best Pic and Fincher Best Director (leaving the other awards still up for grabs), or King's would take all. I was just hoping for the former. But now that Hooper won the DGA, it's clear it will be the latter. In fact, I'm still hoping Bale and Leo can even hold on to their leads...I wouldn't be surprised to see one if not both of them upset by Rush or Bonham Carter. I'll have a little bettere guess after the SAG awards tonight, but a million bucks says Best Ensemble (which usually goes to the Oscar Best Picture winner...even Slumdog Millionaire won it) will go to The King's Speech.

  • Edward Davis | January 30, 2011 8:03 AMReply

    "I predict it will rack up in most of the other categories too, such as Editing, Costume, Cinematography, Art Direction and Score"

    hey, great that you have your crystal ball to tell us this now, woo. Just like an Oscar prognosticator to jump ship on his earlier predictions (yes, I remember them reading them in the comments section, they were pretty 100% sure The Social Network was gonna sweep.

  • Adrian | January 30, 2011 6:40 AMReply

    So happy. That's another win for us the people and a loss for the blogging nerds who think TSN is the next thing to sliced bread. As a 20 year old male, TSN has ZERO to do with my life or generation. It's about some rich boys from Harvard who became billionaires. Well good for them. The King's Speech is not my generation either but a strong story with great actors. I relate better to that movie than TSN.

  • jimmiescoffee | January 30, 2011 5:47 AMReply

    weinstein is reediting the film? seems like a slippery slope to me. the idea of that makes my stomach sick.

    otherwise, hooper did the most unimpressive directing out of any nominated director (and add chris nolan to that list). 'the king's speech' is great but im having trouble buying into its late push.

  • Craig | January 30, 2011 5:31 AMReply

    The exclusion of Christopher Nolan and the inclusion of the Coen Brothers could tip things though. It's not like the Oscars will be an identical showdown.

  • cirkusfolk | January 30, 2011 5:05 AMReply

    Well it's official, The King's Speech is going to sweep at the Oscars. This was the determining factor...if Fincher would've won, there still would've been hope for him and even the film for Best Pic...now all hope is lost. Futhermore, since it appears Speech will be taking Picture, Director, Writing and Acting, I predict it will rack up in most of the other categories too, such as Editing, Costume, Cinematography, Art Direction and Score. This is a shame because The Social Network won an unprecedented number of precursor awards (basically all of them) even more than Slumdog Millionaire did. I am sadly reminded of 1998 where L.A. Confidential won all the precursors but then Titanic ended up taking all at the Oscars. Or even a better comparison can be made for the following year when Shakespeare in Love somehow beat Saving Private Ryan, but of course Speilberg still won the DGA and then won the Oscar...that won't happen this year with the DGA on Hooper's side.

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